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Neurology. 2011 May 31;76(22):1886-93. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31821d767b.

Predicting survival in frontotemporal dementia with motor neuron disease.

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  • 1Department of Behavioral Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



To determine whether clinical and demographic features are associated with prognosis in patients with frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease (FTD-MND).


This was a case series of FTD-MND categorized according to behavioral- or language-dominant symptoms at presentation and throughout the disease course. Demographic, clinical, imaging, and survival data were analyzed with respect to dominant FTD-MND type. Voxel-based morphometry was used to assess and compare regional patterns of atrophy in behavioral- and language-dominant FTD-MND types.


Of the 56 patients with FTD-MND who were identified, 31 had dominant behavioral symptoms and 25 had dominant language symptoms; 53 patients had died. A survival difference was present between types, with patients with behavioral-dominant symptoms surviving 506 days longer than patients with language-dominant symptoms (mean 1,397 vs 891 days; p = 0.002). There was also a difference in time from diagnosis to death (p = 0.02) between groups. Patients with language-dominant disease were more likely to have bulbar-onset than limb-onset motor neuron disease (MND) (p = 0.01). There was a similar pattern of frontal and temporal lobe atrophy in both types, although there was some evidence for the behavioral type to have more frontal atrophy and the language type to have more left temporal atrophy.


In our series of patients with FTD-MND, language-dominant FTD-MND was associated with bulbar-onset MND and a shorter survival. There was also evidence that the dominant FTD-MND type is related to differences in brain atrophy patterns.

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